How to Capitalize on Life’s Twists and Turns

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Coming from a big math family (financial advisors, CPAs, etc.), I decided to study journalism and writing in college.

I know, I’m such a rebel.

After graduation, I struggled to find a job in my field, so ended up at — yup, you guessed it — the family business doing taxes.

As grateful as I was for the job, I had zero interest in thumbing through shoeboxes of income statements and receipts. However, had I focused on doing this work I didn’t enjoy, the negativity likely would have kept me tethered to it even longer. Instead, I decided to find opportunities to nurture my passions within my role.

To feed the word nerd in me, I offered to also write marketing letters and press releases.

To honor my desire to support others, I became the unofficial human resources rep, listening to employees’ ideas and concerns and sharing them with my brother and father (the business owners).

Adding these responsibilities nurtured my need for variety and allowed me to show up to work in a better mood. It was this mindset that brought me to my dream job sooner than later.

After a year or two at the tax office, I was offered a position as an assistant editor of a magazine. I jumped at the chance even though the subject matter (nursing) wasn’t up my alley. Being a regional edition of a national magazine, the local staff was small — only about 8 people. This gave me the opportunity to wear many hats (variety once again!).

Not only did I edit all the content, I also laid out the magazine (placing the articles, advertisements and photos on the pages in a way that fits and made sense), worked with the production director on photo shoots, cover design, and more, and I mentored the nurses who were mostly new at writing in this way.

Many of the authors would miss their deadlines, and as a result, I’d end up with blank pages.

Initially selfishly-driven, I’d call to hound them on the status of their pieces and I’d hear all sorts of reasons why they struggled to get it done: “My job…”, “My kids…”, etc.

I knew these nurses really wanted to write or else they wouldn’t have pitched stories in the first place.

Our conversations would shift from hounding to helping them prioritize and restructure their time so they could get their articles done. I found myself really enjoying this part of the job — helping people to make changes to focus on dreams and desires that they would otherwise neglect.

During a casual conversation about my job with my sister, Cheryl, I shared how much I loved doing this.

“You do know that you’re coaching, right?” she said.

“No, that’s what YOU do,” I responded.

“Well, kiddo, that’s what you’re doing, too. Might want to check that out further.”

So check it out I did, and ended up enrolling in Coachville for my training and taking on pro bono clients at night to hone my skills while I worked at the magazine during the day.

I continued to build my practice until it grew to where I could support myself, and after eight years at the magazine, I gave my notice. I went out on my own, full-time, 17 years ago and I’ve never looked back.

Maybe you’re not where you’d like to be right now, professionally or otherwise. Chew on this for a bit: How can you see your situation differently in hopes of creating a shift? A new perspective can do wonders!

I believe the Universe always has a bigger vision for you than you can ever imagine. To see it for yourself, you’ve gotta show up and take some chances.

Do you allow yourself to say “yes” to opportunities, even if they seem unrelated to your goal? Doing so invites in more.

Our journeys can take some radical twists and turns, most of which we don’t see coming. By trusting in yourself and your ability to always land on your feet, you open doors that would otherwise stay bolted shut.

So what will you say “yes” to today?

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  1. […] Celebrating the Twists and Turns! [Photo Credit: Kerri Richardson] […]

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